Effects of Acidic Deposition on Water Quality and Forest Health in Georgia
Huntington, Thomas G.
Hooper, Richard P.
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Biogeochemical studies at the Panola Mountain Research Watershed near Atlanta, Ga., and in the Coastal Plain Province of Georgia have provided an assessment of some of the potential effects of acid deposition on streamwater quality and forest health in Georgia. Historically, "acid rain" has not been considered a potentially serious problem in the southeastern United States; however, recent studies have raised questions about the sensitivity of forest and aquatic resources to chronic pollutant loading. Intensive streamwater-quality monitoring during storms has shown that episodic acidification presently is occurring and likely will become substantially more severe in future decades. Acidic deposition at current rates does not appear to have direct adverse effects on forest health, but does contribute to the chronic loss of nutrient cations.